Google wades into the murky waters of 5G with Alpental buy


Google(s goog) has acquired Alpental Technologies, a Seattle-area startup looking to build wireless technologies that may some day become part of our 5G networks. GeekWire first reported on the deal on Thursday, and Google confirmed it with me Friday, though it didn’t offer up any additional details.

The news renewed speculation that Google will dive into mobile networking, challenging carriers on their own turf. That’s definitely a possibility, but we shouldn’t read too much into this particular acquisition. As I’ve written before, 5G is a much different animal than 4G, which can pretty much be summed up as a single radio technology: LTE.

5G hasn’t even been defined by the mobile industry yet, but the companies and researchers that are pursuing those standards agree that 5G isn’t going to be a single network technology. Rather, it’s going to be a mishmash of different radios, new bands of spectrum and even…

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